Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

When the Sleeper Wakes (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – October 14, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all 56 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Paperback, October 14, 2003
$4.99 $0.01
Audible, Unabridged
"Please retry"

Comic-Con Deal: Up to 50% off select Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Comic books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews


“Nothing is more striking about Mr. Wells . . . than his power of lending freshness and vitality to some well-worn formula of fiction.” —The Spectator

From the Publisher

This book is a standard print version using a minimum of 10 point type in a 6 by 9 inch size and perfect bound - a paperback. As with all Quiet Vision print books, it use a high grade, acid free paper for long life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Modern Library edition (October 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812970004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812970005
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,819,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) is remembered as one of the very pioneers of the genre of science-fiction. He is also remembered for his Leftist politics, including a stint with the Fabian Society and his embracing of "Free Love." This book was written in 1899, and is one of the last science-fiction books he wrote before his turn towards social realism in his writing.

In this dystopian novel, Graham falls into a coma-like sleep, a sleep that he wakes from some 203 years in the future. But times have changed. Due to the wise investments of a board of trustees, Graham's money has compounded into the greatest fortune the world has ever seen, and the trustees have used it to virtually enslave the entire planet. The common people know that those who use "The Master's" money are misusing it, and they pine for a time when the sleeper will wake and set things right. But now that Graham is awake, he finds himself a pawn in a world he little understands.

Overall, I found this to be an interesting book. H.G. Wells made a lot of predictions in the book that have sense come to pass, including airplanes, the rise of trans-national corporations that are not under the control of their nation of origin, the rise of a decadent class of useless, pretty, party-people (Hollywood), and so much more. The one fly in the ointment, however, was Wells' use of race. The leaders use an army of "Negroes" to control the population, "They are fine loyal brutes, with no wash of ideas in their heads..."

But, that said, I did find this to be a fascinating, forward looking book. Mr. Wells is rightly remembered for his near prescience in matters of science, and this book shows how much he knew about the future of economics as well. I highly recommend this book.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A man falls asleep, outlives all his annoying neighbors in the process and wakes up in a future filled with amazing technology where life is blissfully easy. Oh, and now he owns the whole world. How is this book not titled "The Best Day Ever"?

As it turns out, Wells had other concerns on his mind. The basic idea here isn't that far removed from the old tale of Rip Van Winkle, where a man displaced in time lets his experiences be extended into metaphor for the differences between those different times, letting the native culture shock drive the plot and turning the novel into part travelogue and part commentary. It's a useful device that taps into those unconscious curious longings we all have . . . who wouldn't want a chance to see how the far future turns out? Nowadays we have literary devices like time travel machines and suspended animation but in these days with SF in its infancy you didn't have all the cliches of the genre to just pick up and use when the need arose. You had to invent them. Having done a bit about a time machine already, he decided to take a different tactic and go with the magical realism route. Thus, Graham simply gets very tired and falls asleep for a very long time.

That's when the fun begins. Feeling extraordinarily rested, Graham learns that not only has he become a sort of legendary figure to the masses for his amazing ability to . . . sleep (Tilda Swinton and your performance art exhibit, eat your heart out!) but thanks to the magic of compound interest and the fact that no one ever thought he would wake up, he basically owns ninety percent of everything in the whole world, making him a true master of the Earth.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
finished this just the other night and what a finish. i'm not going to spoil it because if you havn't read it you should - if you like your sci-fi with a liberal portion of politics and social commentary (which i guess i do).

from the very beginning, the beauty of the writing is that it shares the sense of dislocation and naivete of the protagonist most eloquently. a man waking in a future world where what he sees around him is totally unfamiliar, yet what lies underneath is an expression of barbarism that a post-enlightment intellectual would surely find abhorrent.

the technology wells envisions is perhaps the most telling sign of his intensly perceptive style. the only inline editorial note is towards the end, where an insert advises that wells is writing of aeroplanes 11 years before the first took to the sky and of aerial fighting 18 years before the first dogfight (although once you've made it to flying, it's not that very large a mental gap at all to flying and fighting together...). alongwith telephones, televisions and the classic moving pathway or travelator (found also in asimov, the fantastic planet and others), the other main visual vocabulary is in the architecture. It's all about the scale and in this you could maybe argue (if you were stoned and theoretically ambitious...) that future comrades-in-architecture took some inspiration. which is to say that it reminds me of beijing and berlin, the only two cities i've visted that either were or are communist.

but it's the social commentary i enjoy the most. a rather dark piece of commentary it is too, marking it alongside brave new world, 1984 et. al. the most unsettling part about reading this was to ponder in 2005 the questions wells was asking in 1899.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: classic literature, classics literature